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Book 147: The Last Rhinos by Lawrence Anthony

Book 147: The Last Rhinos.
Author: Lawrence Anthony with Graham Spence, 2012.
Genre: Non-Fiction. Natural History. Africa. Conservation. Memoir.
Other Details: Paperback. 334 pages.

When Lawrence Anthony learned that the northern white rhino, living in the war-ravaged Congo, was on the very brink of extinction, he knew he had to act. If the world lost the sub-species, it would be the largest land mammal since the woolly mammoth to go extinct. In The Last Rhinos, Anthony recounts his attempts to save these remarkable animals. The demand for rhino horns in the Far East has turned poaching into a dangerous black market that threatens the lives of not just these rare beasts, but also the rangers who protect them. The northern white rhino’s last refuge was in an area controlled by the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army, one of the most vicious rebel groups in the world. In the face of unmoving government bureaucracy, Anthony made a perilous journey deep into the jungle to try to find and convince them to help save the rhino. - synopsis from 'Last Rhinos website.

There were a lot of unexpected bits in this memoir including Lawrence Anthony's dangerous trips into the jungle to negotiate with the warlord leaders of the Lord's Revolutionary Army for the protection of the last rhinos in that area and how he then was pulled into assisting with peace negotiations.

It also continues the story of Thula Thula and their on-going heart-breaking fight against the poachers determined to obtain rhino horn. I am very much in agreement with Lawrence Anthony in his opening condemnation of those countries that perpetuate the superstition of traditional medicines that utilize ingredients such as rhino horns and tiger bones. No matter how old those cultures are they deserve the world's condemnation for their responsibility for snuffing out these beautiful animals.

In the final section Graham Spence speaks about the sudden death of Lawrence Anthony, who was also his brother-in-law, and of the legacy he left behind. This was again a deeply inspiring memoir.

The Last Rhinos website - official website with photo gallery.
Tags: africa, animals, memoir, nature, non-fiction
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